Smoke-Free Policy Enforcement Approved by SGA Senate

A resolution to enforce the no-smoking policy on MTSU’s campus, possibly through fines, was passed by the Student Government Association in a caucus on Thursday.

SGA members will now have to meet with university authorities to determine if students will be fined if found using tobacco products on campus. This includes cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, chewing tobacco and other tobacco products.

The bill was sponsored by Senators Dylan Bogle and Todd Benne, who said they brought the legislation to encourage beneficial choices and create a friendlier, cleaner campus.

“MTSU gets money for having a tobacco-free campus, and I think that we should honor that by abiding by the rules,” said Benne.

Bogle said he first had the idea to create a new policy during the spring 2014 semester, when he was eating at the KUC building near a group of three smokers. A couple confronted them, and the conversation quickly became aggressive.

“I wish that we could meet everybody halfway with a smoking area or something like that,” said Senator De’Sean Keys. “I think people would respond to that better, but [the Tennessee Board of Regents] made MTSU a tobacco-free campus and won’t allow it.”

Bogle would like to urge the student body to direct any questions or concerns about the bill to his email, which can be found on the Student Government Association section of the MTSU website.

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To contact news editors Daniel Jansouzian and Max Smith, email newseditor@mtsusidelines.com

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6 Responses

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  1. Val
    Sep 14, 2014 - 05:45 PM

    You’re going to fine people for using electronic cigarettes? It’s not tobacco…..and it’s helped me stop smoking cigs.

    Reply
    • Kayce
      Oct 06, 2014 - 11:57 AM

      E-cigs still expose you and anyone around you to nicotine, which is a known carcinogen, and e-cigs stink too.

      Reply
  2. Matthew Hurtt
    Sep 22, 2014 - 05:37 AM

    Unfortunately, the pervasive desire to legislate this kind of behavior doesn’t end when these young statists move on from college. They — and others like them — will get involved in local, state, and perhaps event federal politics. They’ll get elected and continue to gently erode our liberties under the banner of “looking out for our well-being.”

    Perhaps there is a legitimate argument to be made about second-hand smoke (perhaps, I’m not quite convinced), but the use of e-cigs, dip, and other personal tobacco products that do not emit second-hand smoke does nothing to those around the user. This is another attempt to regulate perfectly lawful behavior on the campus of a public institution. Shameful.

    Reply
  3. Sarah
    Sep 25, 2014 - 04:58 PM

    Lets not fool ourselves, MTSU became a smoke free campus because they are getting money not because they had too. Most on campus smokers do have a specific place they smoke and don’t walk around smoking. This is just another example of a few a people that have a problem with something that took it too far. Shame on the SGA for focusing on this when there are bigger on campus problems to deal with. Also as it has been pointed out smoking outside more than 25 feet away from a door is not illegal so on what grounds are you going to fine someone? Just because they feel like it? It is shameful and unlawful. Surely MTSU and SGA don’t want to be known for punishing a lawful act.

    Reply
  4. gmwspring15
    Apr 16, 2015 - 05:05 PM

    Let me start by saying that I am not a smoker. Also, I will say that smoking doesn’t generally bother me. But, I will say that I appreciate the fact that MTSU is a smoke-free campus. Before I chose to transfer to MTSU, I went to a campus that allowed smoking and tobacco products. There are two problems that arose with allowing smoking and tobacco products: the mess that it caused and people smoking in the entrance of buildings. The first problem could easily be solved if people would throw away their cigarettes or tobacco, unfortunately if you take a walk in any parking lot there is an excess of both. The second problem arises from no convenient smoking areas for smokers, many smokers choose to just step in front of the building and smoke before class.
    SGA needs to try to push for the rule to be enforced, regardless of the reasoning behind its existence. If no one believes in this rule, than SGA should make a push for the school to change it, or at least put it to a student vote. The rule would be followed if a majority of the students voted for it.
    Sidelines needs to do a follow-up story on this. It’s very easy to do. Go to the parking lots, or in front of the building on campus and see that no one is following this rule and it clearly hasn’t been enforced.
    Sarah, I see this rule broken every day. I see people walking with cigarettes in their hands every day. If you look harder you will see cigarette buds and chewing tobacco everywhere on campus.

    Reply
  5. Veritas
    Jun 08, 2015 - 03:20 PM

    I’m not a smoker. In fact, I’m slightly repulsed by smoking. I find it disgusting.

    HOWEVER…

    I find the discrimination of people who smoke even more disgusting. Media campaigns, public policy makers, and social trends have shifted their focus from simply warning people about the health risks of smoking to mounting a full-scale assault on smokers themselves: Some of the PSA style anti-smoking ads vary in style from using scare tactics to even going as far as to promote discrimination by discouraging people from dating smokers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcAj3lOyv3s). Also, state governments are FORCING the owners of PRIVATELY OWNED restaurants to ban smoking on their properties. And Universities, office buildings, etc. continue to relegate smokers to increasingly smaller and farther away areas.

    If someone wants smoke, let them smoke in peace, and don’t look down on them or judge them for doing so! I’m not a huge fan of dating smokers, but we shouldn’t purposely try to influence people into finding smokers unattractive. That should be left up to them.

    Ladies and gentlemen, this sort of thing may not seem all that important, but if you don’t catch the little things, the big things will come next. That’s why it is absolutely imperative that stand up for the rights of others, even when we don’t think that it affects us at the moment. This is about FREEDOM!

    Reply

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